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Men In Childcare


dottyp
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There are so many publications and information of late in a crusade to employ more men in childcare.

I too thought it a wonderful opportunity when our setting was fortunate enough to be approached by a

guy who showed enthusiasm and willingness to join our group. However in reality this has not been the case.

I have never known a guy who can hold a conversation about personal matters longer than any woman,

looks but does not see and has had more time off in 8 weeks than I have in 8 years!

However, I really want this to work - any ideas would be greatly received :o

 

dottyp

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i work with male students on a regular basis - i tend to find you have to be very specific when giving them jobs (they don't seem to see the setting's problems) and like to be given a task. We also tend to settle them in by using their interests (just like the kids!!) so what does he like doing music/cars/art etc he will then be happy to waffle on about this for hours to the children!!! Men definately work differently and go towards the education rather than the care side - tangible things i guess - so work to a plan until he has got the message. Does he have previous experience? can you build on this? we have worked with a male childminder for some time too!

on the possitive side it has given me an insight into boys play that is great.....one of my students spent a whole session creating a police car with the children out of a vegetable box and another when playing with the train created a fabulous viaduct something i had never thought of xD the time off would concern me though - have you asked him if he's happy? unusual at the start of a new job to have so much time off unless there is a serious medical condition :o

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Guest jenpercy

I know we work with older children, but the problem i have with my male is that although we tell him that he has a natural advantage in keeping discipline, and that all he would have to do is to look stern, he seems to prefer to be one of the lads. I konow that he is afraid of losing his temper, thing is I have seen him do this once, because he does not know how to be firm and stop things going too far. The children know that he is a pushover, and no matter how many times I tell him that it is easier to keep your temper if you ste boundaries, he seems unable to do so. He just doesn't want to be the bad guy. Thing is that children prefer firm staff.

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Hi all

 

I am a Male practitioner and i think it is vitally important to take into consideration the paradigm of the male entering a predominately 'female' world. I recently undertook some research, which was primarily based on what hinders men from entering childcare and education, one of the profound attributes to arise was, that the majority of my male respondents felt that this particular profession is a women's world. I must add that this was only a small percentage of society that took part - around 300 individuals - so i'm not trying to portray that Men are not attracted to this sector because it is 'deemed' to be a role for women. Being a male myself in the field of childcare and education, i have had no problems in regards to forming sound relationships with children,staff and parents. I think this is because i have always been comfortable around women and after studying with mainly females in College and University i have heard things that would make any guy blush, but i have become accustomed to this and it doesnt phase me at all....Is there anyway you could give him particular 'ownership' of something, take for instance- ICT planning - I think reflexive practice is vitally important - sit back and observe how welcoming your setting is, how do other members of staff communicate with him and how he communicates with other members of staff.

 

Hope this helps!!

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Thank you for your first hand experience finleysmaid, it is quite interesting to read how you manage your male staff.

Also to Happydays1. It was extremely interested to read your own points of view. I particularly like the 'ownership' idea. This guy has come into our setting and the children have bonded with him well (both boys and girls) and we've had lots of positive comments from parents, so hopefully with a little bit more thought on my part, to his 'role' in the setting, we may be looking at a positive outcome. Thank you so much. dottyp :o

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Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, I'm a bit bothered by conversations about individual male practitioners which seem to confer their own personal characteristics on every male practitioner on the workforce.

 

Might we be at risk of appearing just a bit sexist? :o

 

Maz

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Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, I'm a bit bothered by conversations about individual male practitioners which seem to confer their own personal characteristics on every male practitioner on the workforce.

 

Might we be at risk of appearing just a bit sexist? :o

 

Maz

 

I am not even considering entering this debate, it could get messy...

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Guest jenpercy

Ok My first boss was a man., and I used to work with a lot of men in the Woodcraft folk I used to be jealous of the way that the children took more notice of them, because he was a man. I mean that the female playworkers had to work harder.

 

However, there is a subset of men who don't try to keep proper order because they are frightened of losing their temper, because they want to be friends with the children, because they have deep enough voices to be heard above chaos, so it's easier not to try.

 

I have also had experience of several of these, and they often do lose it because they get no respect. And despite their attempts to be one of the lads, the children often don't like them much. Children prefer adults to be adults and like adults they can respect.

 

By the way, I am sure that there are female specific ways of being a pain.

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I'm not very comfortable with the way that male practitioners are being put into boxes in this way.

 

I've worked with male and female practitioners,some good and some not so good. Each one brought their own style and experience to the settings and the only pattern I can see is that in attitudes they encountered. I have seen parents making sweeping judgements about practitioners' suitability to take particular roles depending on their gender. I found this disturbing and was worried about the messages this gave to the children.

 

I prefer to work on the principle that every child is unique and so is every practitioner. I look for people's strengths and consider how best to build on them. Whether that person is male or female is, and should always be, irrelevant.

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  • 1 month later...

My son has been working at the nursery for 2 years now. He is 35, has a degree in Computer technology with Animation, after completing 3 years of a Biomedical Science degree (deciding that it wasn't for him....too dry!). He was unable to find a job with any relation to his degree. As a stop gap, I asked him to help us at the nursery (he has 3 nieces and nephews and had shown he has an affinity with children). He has recently completed his NVQ 111 in early years and is a really valued member of staff. The children thoroughly enjoy having a male influence and he has the patience of a saint as he can be a man and completely switch off to everything else. That would be his downfall with some of the other staff, the inability to multi task! Having said this, he is the ICT, nature, insects, experiments and investigation expert and coordinator, which works brilliantly.

As his mother, I am hoping that he will apply himself to the EYPS and maybe move on into teaching Early Years, as I think he has a lot to offer. The problem for all men in nursery education is that we are unable to pay a liveable wage for a breadwinner.

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Guest jenpercy

Well don't you konw that if we have enough men and graduates in the profession, the wages will rise magically!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

P-i-g-s w-i-l-l- f-l-y

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